Car: Porsche Boxster Spyder (987)
Owned since: 2010
Previously owned: Both a 986 and 987 Porsche Boxster S, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Audi R8, VW Golf GTI, VW Lupo GTI, Audi TT; BMW 123d, BMW M3 (F80), Porsche Macan S Diesel and far too many more, including the mandatory MX-5!
"Having been lucky enough to own a few quick - and not so quick - cars I was finding, like many folks, that I wasn't able to use that performance on the road. I therefore wanted to get something to 'learn to drive' in and take on track, with a mid-life crisis goal of perhaps doing something competitive. I started looking at Caterhams, Ariel Atoms and the like but convinced myself I'd probably kill myself in one of those (I know plenty of folks who haven't though!).
"Passing my local Porsche dealer in Ferndown they had one of these in the showroom, and they were kind enough to let me take the showroom fresh PDK car out for a spin - I was immediately hooked, but wanted a manual. Shortly after I spotted Guildford's demonstrator for sale; people weren't 'getting' the car at that point so managed to negotiate about £13K off for a six-month-old car, probably helped by it being November and frosty by this time!"
What I wish I'd known:
"It's more what I'm glad I didn't know... If I'd seen these cars new I'd probably have bought one box fresh; in fact if the one I drove in Ferndown had been a manual I'd have probably stumped up for that - so I'm happy I saved on the lightly used one."
"It's the whole package! The noise, the grunt, the looks and the roof that isn't half as bad as folks say. In fact talking to people with the newer 981 model I think I prefer the one on mine - the stories of latches coming unstuck and damaging body work, and having to release the hood to open the boot, make the occasional three minutes to do the roof seem easy work. If you are looking for one though I'm on board with the internet experts: there's a holy trinity of manual (ideally short shift fitted), bucket seats and PSE, which is very desirable. I'm just glad mine has a few toys too - the extra weight of the sat-nav, air-con and Xenon lights is easily offset with a few less trips to Greggs.
"And on track? Well I'm no driving god, but boy do you feel it - this is the car that really has made me understand steering feel, handling on the limit and what a road car can really do."
Things I hate:
"I'm not driving it enough! Work travel has meant I've only put an additional 18,000 miles on it over five and a half years; it's no garage queen but working away a lot has put paid to driving it as much as I'd like. That said it does make it more special when I do, although my wife has now got a taste for it so I'm not always first into the driving seat!"
"Well depreciation has been nigh on zero, so no complaints there; for those of you with a practical tilt it will average around 30mpg on a motorway cruise and servicing seems no more expensive than any other Boxsters. I have kept it within the Porsche network so far for that - I know, I know - and there's an official warranty on it which has avoided a couple of costs so I've probably broken even on that. For example it had a new steering rack last year, though I've heard of a couple of cars needing these at this age. Plus there's been wear and tear stuff that has been done by a local garage whose mechanic used to work at Porsche using OEM parts (and yes, the warranty is still valid). I'm pretty sure I could get insurance for c. £500 (mid 40s, garaged, low risk area, full NCD) but I pay about £800 through competition car insurance which gives me five track days a year without a ridiculous excess."
"The car has not been out of the UK, but some great country road blasts make mini-memories; that work thing has got in the way too but I've still have had a good number of track day adventures. I have a decent set of winter tyres for all year round use also; I get some great looks when out in the snow! It was also one of our wedding cars - that car, at Goodwood, in our finery, is definitely a memory neither of us will ever forget."
"Sell it? No way! This is a keeper in every definition of the word. I have been fortunate enough to get a Cayman GT4 too, so the husband and wife drives will continue. But if one goes it's more likely to be the GT4, to be replaced with something that takes us to that competitive step - it's not that the GT4 is not absolutely amazing, it's just that the Spyder has that certain intangible something that is that bit more accessible to us mere mortals!"
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